November – the month of early nights, crimson sunsets, and being thankful for all of the charm that Cape May offers year-round.
I hold a particular fondness for November because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and my family has a tradition of spending this week celebrating down the shore.
I felt compelled to start taking photos of Cape May in the first place because I desperately wanted to capture and distill each moment and experience from this festive and bright week. My photographs helped me remember the way the waves were crashing as I was bundled up for beach walks with my family, or how the sky looked during sunset from the front porch.
Thanksgiving week also made me fully appreciate the beauty and majesty that comes with the colder seasons in Cape May.
Even though Fall doesn’t technically end until December 21st, it feels like November is the last month of Autumn and the older sibling of October. October is a fresh burst of chilly air filled with the excitement of a new season and changing colors while November is aged Autumn. Chilly breezes become cold winds and the sun goes to sleep at an early hour.
October is washed in fresh golden tones and amber hues while November is bursting with ripened rich reds and deep burnt oranges. In November, the combination of cold air and fewer daylight hours makes my senses sharper and more awake, and I feel an urgency to get out to the beach to capture the fleeting falling light before the sun quickly dips below the horizon.
After daylight savings ends, the landscape and light drastically changes. Once the days become shorter, golden hours becomes more gold and colors become more intense.
My absolute favorite activity to do during this week to catch the light at its most magical hour is to go on a brisk afternoon bike ride around town. The lower sun of November hits the houses along Beach Ave and Convention Hall at just the right angle and turns them into spotlights.
As I mentioned in last month’s blog post, November in Cape May is also when the offseason truly sets in. The lights on Beach Ave. are blinking yellow every day of the week, the parking meters are (mostly) off, and you can bike down the Promenade stress free.
In the offseason, business change their hours, the crowds leave, and you have more time for yourself and to slow down. Your love and appreciation for Cape May truly grows in the offseason when the main attraction and thing to do is to just simply be in the town without the warm weather frills and activities.
I hope if you are in Cape May this week or plan on visiting during another time this offseason, that you brave the cold air and take the opportunity to go to the beach to have a moment with yourself, the sun, and the ocean. Pay attention to the fleeting intense light, and give thanks for Cape May, no matter the weather or the season.
Happy Holidays and see you on the beach in January!